Adolescent Time and Risk Preferences: Measurement, Determinants and Field Consequences

62 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2019

See all articles by Anya Samek

Anya Samek

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Andre Gray

University of Southern California

Ashlesha Datar

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Nancy Nicosia

RAND Corporation

Date Written: August 1, 2019

Abstract

We use experimental and survey measures to evaluate the time and risk preferences of nearly 500 adolescents aged 16-19 years old. We find that survey questions about time and risk preferences are weakly correlated with corresponding experiments in which participants trade-off monetary rewards. We also find interesting heterogeneities: girls are less risk seeking and more patient than boys when risk and time preferences are measured via surveys, and black adolescents are less risk seeking and more impatient than white or Hispanic adolescents on some measures. Parent time and risk preferences are strongly predictive of adolescent preferences for both survey and experimental measures. Interestingly, the survey measures have more predictive power for field outcomes than the experimental measures. Higher patience as measured by the survey is significantly associated with lower body mass index (BMI), less time spent on sedentary activities, more time spent on physical activity and lower consumption of fast food and sweets.

Suggested Citation

Samek, Anya and Gray, Andre and Datar, Ashlesha and Nicosia, Nancy, Adolescent Time and Risk Preferences: Measurement, Determinants and Field Consequences (August 1, 2019). CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper No. 2019-003, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3463495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3463495

Anya Samek (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

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Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

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Andre Gray

University of Southern California ( email )

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United States

Ashlesha Datar

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

Nancy Nicosia

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)

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